Arts Centre Melbourne and The SUBSTATION present

Dragon Ladies Don't Weep


Featuring Margaret Leng Tan in a co-production
by Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore
World Premiere
Singapore / Australia / Japan

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A work that sweeps across the senses, Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is a sonic portrait of new music icon Margaret Leng Tan – an evocative exploration of memory, time, control and loss.

New York-based Singaporean pianist Margaret Leng Tan forged a path as a major force within the American avant-garde, serving as muse for such giants as John Cage and George Crumb, and transforming the toy piano into a serious instrument. Her stellar career is a touchstone for the past 40 years of experimental musical innovation.

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep combines spoken and recorded text, projected images and original music for prepared piano, toy piano, toys and percussion by Tan’s long-term collaborator Erik Griswold.

Created by a team of Singaporean and Australian artists, including director Tamara Saulwick, video designer Nick Roux, and dramaturg Kok Heng Leun and performed by Tan, this cross-cultural collaboration is an evocative collage of the forces that have shaped Tan’s life and how music has been both her passion and her refuge.

Opening the evening is the world premiere of an international collaboration between Japanese filmmaker Makino Takashi and Australian composer Lawrence English.

Dragon Ladies Don't Weep is part of the SUBSONIC program curated for Asia TOPA by The SUBSTATION.

Download the Dragon Ladies Don't Weep program


  • Wheelchair access
  • Assistive hearing
  • Companion Card
Image by: Pier Carthew

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is a Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore co-production and is co-commissioned by Asia TOPA and Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. This activity received grant funding from the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is supported by Creative Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, National Arts Council (Singapore), The SUBSTATION, Playking Foundation, Asia TOPA, Sidney Myer Fund and the Robert Salzer Foundation.

Presented with support from National Arts Council (Singapore) and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (Singapore)
Supported By
  • The Substation
  • The Robert Salzer Foundation
  • Playking Foundation
  • Culture Link Singapore
  • Creative Victoria
  • City of Melbourne Logo
  • Chamber Made
  • Australian Government | Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications | Office for the Arts
  • Esplanade Theatres on the Bay Singapore
  • National Arts Council
  • Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
  • Japan Foundation

Cast & Credits


Margaret Leng Tan
Erik Griswold
Tamara Saulwick
Kok Heng Leun
Video artist
Nick Roux
Lighting designer
Andy Lim
Costume designer
Yuan Zhiying